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        ADMA :  ASSOCIATION OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS    

     ADMA on Line          |          Monthly Message :   February 24th, 2014      

 

Mary urges us to read and to live the Word of God

We are experiencing ever more widely a spiritual "desertification" which is the result of the kind of society we are attempting to build, a society without God and one which seeks to destroy its Christian roots. Mary invites us to end this process of spiritual aridity by building oases where people can focus on the Word of God, reading God's Word, listening to it and meditating on it. The faith is nourished by the Word of God. In particular, our families and our groups must become places of prayerful listening to the Word if we are to keep the faith and try to radiate it.
If we think of the family of Nazareth, we can see how important the relationship with the Holy Scriptures that he learned from his parents was for Jesus. Mary and Joseph prayed together, reciting the psalms and prayers, and the child Jesus learned from them. He lived the weekly rhythm in the synagogue, where he listened to the Word of God and pondered on it, and they prayed together as a family. "With the proclamation of the word of God, the Church reveals to Christian families their true identity, what it is and what it must be in accordance with the Lord's plan" (Verbum Domini no. 85).
Let us place the Bible in a visible place in our homes and read it together. The Word of God will bring peace to our hearts, because they glow with the light of Truth. It will help us to open ourselves to God's will, as did Mary, the Virgin who listened to the Word and obeyed the will of the Father. It will enable us to influence the people we meet with the testimony of our joy and our faith. We want to express our filial gratitude to the Rector Major, Fr Pascual Chávez, who concludes his ministry as the Father of the Salesian Family. In recent years he has been following the renewal of ADMA closely, providing valuable recommendations, supporting initiatives and promoting our Association which was born from the apostolic and Marian heart of Don Bosco. Thank you, Fr Pascual!
The Rector Major has asked all the groups of the Salesian Family to carry out shared common projects, in which all the members will feel that they belong not just to one branch of the Salesian Family, but to a vast movement inspired by the spirituality of Don Bosco. This is how we participate in the spring of the Catholic community that Pope Francis is implementing, and which demands first a growth in the "sense of the Church."
We also wish to intensify our prayer, through the intercession of Mary Help of Christians and Don Bosco, for the Salesian General Chapter, during which the new Rector Major will be elected.

Sig. Lucca Tullio, President - Don Pierluigi Cameroni SDB, Spiritual Animator


FORMATION PROGRAMME 2013-2014: "Da mighi anima, cetera tolle"


 

6. Mary at the origin of the Salesian charism and of our Association (Fr Roberto CARELLI sdb)

Since the introduction of the Charter of the Charismatic Identity of the Salesian Family, the Rector Major has emphasized that the presence of Mary is a constitutive aspect of the charism for every group and for each member of the Salesian Family. "Mary herself, our inspiration and support, puts in our hands this help for our growth in the charism. Don Viganò wrote in his first letter as Rector Major: 'Mary renews the Salesian Family of Don Bosco' She also continues her work today, enlightening our minds and opening our hearts to new developments of our common charism."
This presence of Mary is affirmed solemnly in the first article that deals with the charismatic and spiritual experience of the Founder: "With humble and joyful gratitude we acknowledge that Don Bosco, by the initiative of God and the maternal mediation of Mary, gave rise in the Church to a singular experience of evangelical life." (Art. 1).
This presence of Mary is so essential that it expresses in a Salesian way the entrustment Jesus made of his beloved disciple to Mary and of Mary to John. It is a matter of taking Mary into our homes as Fr Egidio Viganò said and as expressed in art.11 with the eloquent title "At Home with Mary":
"From his childhood Don Bosco saw in Mary his Teacher and Mother, since that was how she had been pointed out to him by the Personage in his dream at nine years of age. In his first educational undertaking following the custom of the local church, he entrusted his work to Our Lady of Consolation; the boys "poor and in danger " becoming aware of Her protection and consolation. Later, in communion with the Universal Church living through the experience of the definition of the Marian dogma, he proposed to them Mary Immaculate, presenting her as the teacher of their love and the powerful support of their human and Christian development. Finally, having recognised that in the founding and the development of his work "Mary has done everything," even in extraordinary ways, he dedicated the newly born Congregation to the Virgin under the title of Help of Christians. Then receiving from Mary the inspiration to found the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, he wanted it to be a "living monument " of his gratitude to the Help of Christians. To her also he entrusted the Salesian Cooperators, so that in their apostolate they might be protected, and find inspiration in Her. He also set up the Association of the Devotees of Mary Help of Christians, linked to the sanctuary in Turin, as a sign of gratitude for the maternal presence of the Madonna in all his works. This special reference to Mary has profoundly marked the charismatic and spiritual identity of the various Groups of the Salesian Family which have come into being during the XXth century... Mary is considered not only as Mother of the Church and Help of Christians, but also as the Mother of all humanity, so that co-workers, men and women, of various Groups of the Salesian Family also belonging to other religions, cultivate a sincere devotion to her. With good reason therefore, one can say that the Salesian Family is a Marian Family."
Mary's presence is experienced especially as a mother and teacher of spirituality and apostolic life, leading us daily by the hand as she guides us and protects us , "Devotion to Mary (together with that to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and to the Pope) has been one of the three devotions which marked the spiritual and apostolic life of Don Bosco. The whole Salesian Family is and feels itself to be a Marian Family, which came into being through the motherly care of the Immaculate Help of Christians. All the Groups in fact express this conviction in their own Constitutions... For those belonging to the Association of Mary Help of Christians, entrustment to Mary means "living a daily spirituality with evangelical attitudes, especially with thanksgiving to God for the wonders he continually works, and with fidelity to him even in times of difficulty and grace, following Mary's example" . Daily entrustment to Mary therefore is a characteristic of our spirituality. Entrustment has an upwards action: it is a giving of oneself in order to respond generously to a mission to be accomplished; but there is also a downwards motion: accepting with trust and gratitude the help of Her who guided Don Bosco and continues to guide the spiritual Family which has its origin in him." (art.37).

ADMA Group founded by Don Bosco

Official recognition of the founding of ADMA by Don Bosco along with the SDB, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and the Salesian Cooperators, is important (cf. Art. 1.2. 3.11).
Our belonging to the Salesian Family is due to the fact that we were founded by Don Bosco, as clearly stated in art. 3 when it speaks about the institutional configuration of the Salesian Family. "There are different titles for belonging. The first is that enjoyed by the Salesians, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, the Cooperators and the members of the Association of Mary Help of Christians: these are the first four Groups established by Don Bosco and the direct heirs to his work. To these all the other Groups need to refer and make comparisons as regards the spirit, the field of mission, the methodology of pedagogical and apostolic activity." (art.3).
Don Bosco is a father who has begotten children that continue today his charismatic and spiritual experience. The saint from Turin is a founder not only in a historical and legal sense - to him we owe the four original groups of the Salesian Family: Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (with St. Mary Mazzarello), Salesian Cooperators and the Association of Mary Help of Christians. He is a founder also in the theological sense: the promoter of a charism that finds different expression in the various groups of the Salesian Family.
Our reference to Don Bosco as a founder and as the "originator of a true school of apostolic spirituality" (Art. 12 ), encourages us to renew our Association in the practice of pastoral charity which finds its source "in an interior life constantly open to a relationship with God." For us too, educative and apostolic love requires a practical and demanding form of interior life. (Art. 12) . "The mission of Don Bosco and of his spiritual Family is part of the common Christian vocation to the apostolate. But because it is in response to a spiritual gift, its origin is charismatic: it is the Spirit of the Father and of the Risen Lord who, as in the past he sent Don Bosco to the young and to the working classes, in the course of history continues to send his spiritual sons and daughters to perpetuate the apostolate to the young, the working classes and the missions." (Art 14) We feel called particularly to live the commitment of the whole Church to a new evangelization in the knowledge that "for all the Groups, evangelisation, understood as the proclamation of and witnessing to the Gospel, is the priority objective of their mission." (Art. 17 ).

Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family 2014

1. STRENNA 2014: TAPPING INTO THE SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE OF DON BOSCO

The 2014 Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family, held in Rome 16-19 January, were really special for several reasons: the importance of the topic, the number of groups represented (twenty-eight out of thirty) and of participants (over 400), and the fact that it was the last presided over by Fr Pascual Chávez, as Rector Major and 9th successor of Don Bosco.

From ADMA there were about 30 members present including the President Mr Tullio Lucca and almost all the members of the new Board of the Primary ADMA of Turin. The text of the talks, videos, photographs, and audio resources are available on http://www.sdb.org/it/Famiglia_Salesiana/Giornate_FS/GFS_2014

The 2014 Strenna is expressed in the motto: Da mihi animas, cetera tolle. Let us draw upon the spiritual experience of Don Bosco, in order to walk in holiness according to our specific vocation. "The glory of God and the salvation of souls." Fine commentaries were given in the words of the Rector Major and in the accompanying video.
All members and groups of the Salesian Family are invited "to draw from the sources of the spirituality of Don Bosco, namely educational and pastoral charity. It has its model in Christ the Good Shepherd, its prayer and programme of life in the motto of Don Bosco Da mihi animas, cetera tolle. Following this study, we discover Don Bosco the mystic whose spiritual experience is the foundation of our way of living Salesian spirituality today, according to the diversity of vocations inspired by him. We ourselves have a powerful Salesian spiritual experience. At the core of everything, as the source of the fruitfulness and relevance of all his activity, there is something that often escapes to us, his sons and daughters, and that is his deep interior life, what we might call his familiarity with God. This is perhaps the best thing we can do as followers of Don Bosco - to love him, invoke his intercession, imitate him, and follow him as our way to meet Jesus and lead young people to do the same."
The first point developed in the Strenna regards the elements of the spirituality of Don Bosco that describe his spiritual experience: the starting point is the glory of God and the salvation of souls. The deep root of his inner life and his apostolic activity is union with God. The Salesian religious and apostolic mission translate invisible values into visible works. The point of arrival is holiness for all, each according to their state of life.
The second point concerns pastoral charity as the centre and synthesis of Salesian spirituality. Through his dedication to youth, Don Bosco wanted to communicate to them the experience of God 's love. Charity is the principal aspect of every spirituality. It is the form and substance of all virtues and of all that constitutes and builds the person. For us this charity is specified as pastoral charity. Contemplating Jesus the Good Shepherd motivates us to live the Da mihi animas cetera tolle.
The third point shows that Salesian spirituality has elements common and valid for all the vocations that are inspired by it and are well listed in the Identity Card of the Salesian Family. However, it is experienced with distinct differences according to the specific nature of each group of the Salesian Family and the way of life of each: consecrated life, priestly ministry, laity, family and youth. Salesian Youth Spirituality sees daily life as the place of encounter with God. Rooted in the proclamation and experience of the Risen Lord, it is joyful and optimistic. It educates to friendship and a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus, in ecclesial communion and with the help of Mary, and leads to a gradual maturing in vocational choices and responsible service. The Salesian Family groups involve many lay people in their mission. They are called to live a lay Salesian spirituality. In the knowledge that there can be no youth ministry without pastoral ministry, we are committed to developing a family Salesian spirituality.
The commentary on the strenna concludes with a poem entitled Saints, written by Fr Pasquale Liberatore, for many years Postulator for the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family and himself a saint. It is a short personal Credo which contains all that makes up Salesian spirituality. Its authenticity and validity can be seen in practice in the rich and diverse fruits of holiness of the Salesian Family, beginning with our beloved founder and father Don Bosco.

2 . TESTIMONIALS

"Thank you for making us feel part of this great family which, in its various expressions , sees the glory of God and the salvation of souls as the ultimate purpose of its activity. The Rector Major has left us programmes to be developed. In particular, we feel a strong desire to be actively engaged in the defence of life and the promotion of the family. The areas of commitment and witness can be summarized in three words: Education , Relationship and Service. May everyday life become a place of encounter with God and our field of mission, in the awareness of the constant presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and out total entrustment to Mary Help of Christians." (Maria Adele and Andrea Damiani with Clare and Francis).

"During these days we felt challenged to be true to our Salesian vocation, to the extent that, as Christians and sons and daughters of Don Bosco, we are living the Da mihi animas, cetera tolle in the mission to which the Lord has called us as baptized Christians and spouses. Our heart has been opened in a strong and providential way by the testimony of charity that we have received from our brothers and sisters in the Salesian Family. We realize that the Lord has brought us close to people who, with a word or look or handshake, were able to fill our need, to allay our fears, confirm a decision or point out the way for us. In a special way we were edified by the testimony of the married couple Paul and Marina Surrentino. We were very impressed by their faith, their trust in the Lord, their living as spouses in Christ, their genuine love, the example of their generous self-giving to God and to their children. In a situation of uncertainty regarding the future, we heard from them those words of Christ: "Do not be afraid ... I am with you." As well as these, there were many other testimonies of love for God and heartfelt trust in Him, that trust which brings joy at every little gift from God and the ability to say with certainty,"God will be there tomorrow also!" (Alessandro and Laura).

"Don Bosco was a man with strong arms, robust, tireless: how many embraces, how much warmth, how much friendship we experienced in Rome during these three days in the colorful, beautiful, live encounter with all the branches of the Salesian Family from all over the world!
Don Bosco was a passionate man, intelligent and active. We breathed his passion and zeal for those who need to grow, the young of course, but also families and, ultimately, the man on the move. We admired the beauty and practicality of the many projects, the desire to undertake them, the ability and determination of so many men and women in the frontline of the good fight.
Don Bosco was above all a man with a huge heart, always directed in love towards his boys and always hidden in God. There were many moving testimonies of sisters, priests and lay people, living the fullness of the charism of the founder in our day. How beautiful it was to be able to draw from this well, to understand pastoral charity and 'da mihi animas' that little bit better How much there is that still remains to be excavated, how fresh the water will be if we only immerse ourselves a little bit deeper! Our Lady was Don Bosco's true guide. She gave him all the strength, support and help he needed. We ask her to help us to walk every day in the footsteps of our Saint and so to meet her Son. (Barbara and John) .

"I feel an immense gratitude to Jesus who, by the intervention of Mary, has given us this great genius of holiness that is our dear father Don Bosco. We want to make our own his programme of his life: "Da mihi animas, cetera tolle." For us lay people, in particular, Don Bosco became master of the spirituality of everyday life. At the school of Mary we learn to take on this look of love, of hope and optimism, and to transform our every action into prayer, until we are able to contemplate in daily life the continuous work of God who loves life, and until we find rest in Him. Dear Mother Mary, our guide, be the one who teaches us to follow this path and come to dance with the Holy Spirit in contemplation of Jesus, the blessed fruit of your womb " (Tullio).

 

 

 

 

 

FAMILY CHRONICLE


PRIMARY ADMA - Pilgrimage to Medjugorje 28 December 28 - 2 January 2014
This year also, a group of members of ADMA from Turin and Brescia took part in a pilgrimage to Medjugorje for the Feast of the Mother of God. Our guides, Fr Enrico Lupano and Sig. Dino Zambiasi, made sure we lived every moment intensely. All age groups were represented, from little Benedetta to children and young people , families and grandparents. We visited the Community of the Beatitudes, the Regina Pacis Community, the Community of young Mothers, and we met the visionary Vicka when she spoke to all the Italian pilgrims. We climbed Apparition Hill and the Mountain of the Large Cross, in response to the invitation of the Queen of Peace to live her appeals and her plans for peace throughout the world.
Our meeting with a beautiful nun at the community of the Beatitudes made a profound impression on our hearts. She said , "Just as John brought the Blessed Virgin Mary to his home and lived every moment of his life with her, so you take Mary into your homes. This is what Jesus asked of us on the cross! Dedicate your lives to Mary, and your belongings - the keys to your house, every room in it, the telephone, the computer… everything, that they may serve God's glory… also your work, your hands, your eyes, your words ... so thatMary may guide your every action."
We left for Medjugorje like the 'stretcher-bearers' of the Gospel, bringing so many people suffering in body and spirit, but also bearing many thanks to Jesus and Mary for all the gifts we have received. Like the 'stretcher-bearers' we uncovered the roof and presented them all to Jesus, with the beads of the Rosary and through the hands of Mary ... We went to Medjugorje with a particular intention for ADMA in the world and we are confident that Our Lady has really looked upon all ADMA groups in the world and all their needs, their joys and hardships ( Rosanna and Daniel).

MADRID - ANNUAL MEETING OF ADMA PRESIDENTS
The annual gathering of the Presidents of the 22 groups of ADMA in the Province of Madrid was held on Saturday, 18 January 2014. The scope of the meeting was to receive and reflect on the Rector Major's Strenna and its application to the life of ADMA. The opening prayer was led by Fr Anselmo Velasco, provincial spiritual animator. He brought a message of greeting from Fr José María García, Vice-Provincial and delegate of the Salesian Family. Each animator was given the text of the Strenna . Copies of the book recording the Congress of Zaragoza were distributed to the presidents and a souvenir of the Holy Land was venerated. The meeting was characterized by participation, prayer, responsibility and Salesian joy. It ended with a fraternal meal. (Gloria Blanco Somoza, Provincial President) .


                 
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    ADMA HEADQUARTERS, Torino-Valdocco, ITALIA:
    ADMA | Santuario Maria Ausiliatrice | Via Maria Ausiliatrice 32 | 10152 TORINO-VALDOCCO | ITALIA
    Tel.: 0039-011-5224216 / Fax.: 0039-011-52224213 |
E-mail: adma.torino@tiscali.it 
   THE President OF ADMA: Signor Tullio LUCCA (until 2014) |E-mail:  Tullio.Lucca@gmail.com   
   Spiritual Animator of ADMA: Don Pier Luigi CAMERONI /Casa Generalizia SDB - Via della Pisana 1111 - ROMA
                                             Cell 3401452349 |
E-mail: pcameroni@sdb.org
                       Websites: www.donbosco-torino.it/    |    www.admadonbosco.org


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